Northern Ireland’s Jack Young took another race win and led the TCR China drivers’ championship on Saturday night, before trouble in Race 2 saw him turn what could have been a double-victory into what could be a key points finish, rescuing ninth after he was spun out.
Jack dominated the two free practice sessions at the Shanghai International Circuit on Friday, and then topped the first part of qualifying in his Dongfeng Honda Racing Team Civic Type R FL5 TCR, while a mistake on his flying lap in Q2 saw him just 34-thousandths of a second off pole, qualifying just behind his team-mate Martin Xie.
In the first race, the two Hondas were pulling away from the field, with Jack passing Martin just as the safety car came out for an incident behind, and Jack dropped back as the pass was marginal as to whether it was before the yellow flags were out.
At the restart, the two Hondas bolted away again, and with the team’s focus on the drivers’, teams’, and models’ titles, and with Xie not in contention for the drivers’ title, Xie didn’t challenge when Jack made his move on him on the final lap and the two secured a brilliant 1-2 finish for the team.
The second race on Sunday saw Jack start from ninth in the reversed grid, but he was straight up to fourth place and chasing for the podium before the end of the first lap, with a second race victory almost certainly on. Unfortunately racing time was lost due to another safety car following a crash behind. When the race resumed, Jack was then collected by a spinning rival whilst he was lining up a pass for third at Turn 3 and dropped to the back of the pack. Within three laps he managed to charge through the near-30-car strong field to claim ninth at the finish and score key points for his drivers’ title challenge.
Jack is now just 12 points behind in the drivers’ championship as the series returns to Zhuzhou, the site of his first race win at the end on October 28-29, before he then makes his debut at the Macau Guia circuit in November.
Jack Young said:
“It was a brilliant weekend for us. The car has felt good all weekend, and we’ve been able to put on some very strong performances. I made a mistake on my fast lap which probably cost me a few tenths of a second and still nearly landed pole. The first race, we worked brilliantly as a team and just controlled the race and did what we needed to do and score a 1-2 finish, as we need to claw back what we can to catch up in the teams’ and models’ championships. The drivers’ championship is a lot closer. It was a great feeling to lead the drivers’ championship on Saturday night, if just by a point, and then in the race we were on for a podium at least and probably another win which would have given us a nice lead, but sometimes these things happen.After that I just got my head down and drove back into the points which could prove absolutely crucial when we get to Macau.I want to thank JAS Motorsport, Dongfeng Honda, and MacPro Racing for the amazing car I had all weekend, and I can’t wait to be back out again at Zhuzhou.”